The Fine Art of Graciousness

Over the past few years I have been called upon to write about my feelings where the topic of grace is concerned, and as my business grows I have found this to be a lost art, one I genuinely believe would do well to be in the roster of musts for most people I encounter. Don't mistake, I'm not implying that everyone I deal with is an ungrateful brat, not at all, but it is true, we have with feverent appetites devoured the lifestyle of instant and distant communication that to some, simple eye contact can seem downright scary. To then expect that such individuals would step beyond the text message and wall posts to express their emotions is considered "old school" and not progressive. I say no. I say this is not only a lost tradition that shouldn't ever be in question, but I firmly believe those that actually do speak on the telephone, send  handwritten note or wow, let's get really crazy and acknowledge someone's efforts and say "thank you" are the ones that rise to the top to be the creme that makes the pudding all the sweeter to eat.

The dictionary defines gracious as; "being pleasantly kind, benevolent and courteous." So, what does that mean exactly? In our age of immediate gratification, bombarded stimuli and sensory overload, how do we act with “pleasant kindness” or what is “benevolent” any way?  The act and art of graciousness  is all about how you make the people around you feel. What if you were attending a get together at a new co-worker’s house and  you were not introduced to anyone? What if you were left to fend for yourself feeling ignored or left out? This would not be a gracious moment on your friend’s part. Whether intentional or not, when you find yourself in the company of people who are not behaving graciously, it feel funky, out of sorts and leaves you with a sense of being discounted and not valued or appreciated. Find this happening repeatedly with the same individual and you may opt to no longer associate with that person. Graciousness can be very profound on both levels, as the one extending the gracious gesture and as someone receiving it from you. The same is true that should you not choose to extend graciousness to another person, they in turn may find you someone they choose not to continue to engage with - suddenly the calls stop, invitations cease and you wonder what happened - it could be you neglected to be gracious when the opportunity was right there in front of you.

This is from an original post on the blog MindBodyGreen that I wrote, sharing a list of 10 ways to show your gracious side. So, what are a few characteristics of  graciousness? 

1. Being gracious is someone who is humble and desires to praise others.
2. Someone who is gracious would never seek out to embarrass another person deliberately.
3. A gracious individual is quick to say ‘thank you’ for even the smallest gesture.
4. Listening to the other person more than talking about yourself is gracious characteristic.
5. Not “one upping” someone or being spiteful is considered being gracious.
6. A gracious person makes a point of paying attention to others.
7. Consciously being mindful to say what is appropriate is a gracious choice.
8. A gracious person seeks out ways to make others feel comfortable and appreciated.
9. Being gracious means knowing you are not indispensable and respects everyone’s contribution.
10. To be gracious is to recognize the good in everyone and every situation as the first option.


For myself I have found choosing to be more aware of when I have the opportunity to be gracious adds a softness to my personality, a lighter delivery and deeper consideration and connection to the people around me. Often it takes an added dose of patience to be gracious to certain people I know, there are those in our world who demand more attention and come off slightly needy or demanding. It’s in these times that opting for extending graciousness really produces dynamic results; someone who requires a great deal rarely expects to be granted graciousness -- try embracing this character trait with someone who has challenged you in the past, I assure you the communication will be markedly more clean and you’ll discover the neediness decrease -- universally all we want as humans is to be remembered, respected, and appreciated... to be gracious gives you and the other person a delicious gift of uplifting consideration.

The art and act of being gracious is like so many areas in our busy lives; it is about making a conscious choice, and with these choices there are measured consequences. I would like to encourage you to  choose to be a gracious person whenever you can; in doing so you will  leave everyone you encounter genuinely looking forward to seeing you and hearing whatever it is you have to say and to share. If you feel that there may have been an occasion when you may not have been the most gracious to someone you know recently, this is a perfect opportunity to extend a kind gesture and send a note or card to that individual expressing your sincere gratitude for their input, their help or just to say “glad to know you are my friend" or as it relates to business, "I really appreciate the extra effort when I know you have been so busy - your attention to our company has not gone unnoticed."

It’s never too late to be more gracious, and the feeling you personally get from reaching out and offering your gratitude is so wonderful for the person on the receiving end, and most definitely for you.

Sending you my thanks for spending time with our studio and we look forward to a 2015 filled with grace and prosperity.





  • Comment author

    Most Appreciated

    Posted by Melissa N Lewis | May 28, 2020
  • Comment author

    Thanks for this article. I’m using your ten point list in my Bible class tonight about gracious speech.

    - Jason

    Posted by Jason | May 28, 2020
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